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Tommy Dorfman Says She 'Would Have Transitioned Sooner' if Not for 13 Reasons Why

"I made decisions that were just not aligned with how I really was or what I wanted."
  • Tommy Dorfman (Photo: CJ Rivera/Everett Collection)
    Tommy Dorfman (Photo: CJ Rivera/Everett Collection)

    13 Reasons Why actor Tommy Dorfman is opening up about coming out as trans

    In a new interview with actress Rachel Bilson on her podcast Broad Ideas with Rachel Bilson, Dorfman speaks about her early years working in Hollywood, the reasons she married her ex-husband, and why she didn't begin transitioning sooner.

    "In those early years of working, I was just trying to understand [myself]," Dorfman said, adding that Netflix's 13 Reasons Why was her first professional job.

    "I think if I hadn't booked that job I would have transitioned a lot sooner," she said. "I think because of my work being so tied to my body and face and identity, or whatever [a character] identified as, it delayed some of my growth and some of my maturation in my 20s. I made decisions that were just not aligned with how I really was or what I wanted — but out of fear."

    Dorfman married her longtime boyfriend in 2016, then filed for divorce in February of this year. Of that relationship, Dorfman says she "probably got married" at the time because it felt "safe."

    "It felt like a safe secure space that I can carve out for myself in a world that was ever changing," she said of her marriage. "I was just dealing with stuff that I didn't know about yet."

    "It's very similar to my first year of sobriety," she told Bilson about her first year living as a transgender woman. "It feels very odd and confusing. Every day feels different."

    Dorfman, who's been sober for nine years, added, "I think if you're living with [gender] dysphoria it's not so dissimilar to living actively in alcoholism or addiction. You're living in a fog. You're living underwater, basically."

    "I spent 28 years of my life suicidal and depressed and recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction," Dorfman said. "I don't think I've ever been genuinely happy until this past year. I look at the internet chronicle of photos of me since I started working, and I can see how f*cking unhappy I was in every photo. It's wild."

    13 Reasons Why is available to stream on Netflix.

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    Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.

    TOPICS: Tommy Dorfman, Netflix, 13 Reasons Why